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at every inch of the way and close collation with other
available documents—for otherwise we might in any
case be locked in the views of a single Foreign Office.
All of this may lead one to the discovery that a single
document is more important than all the rest—the
exclusion of one document out of three hundred is even
capable of destroying the clue to the whole series.
Since Charles James Fox made speeches in Parliament
during the crisis of 1792, it might be imagined that
there was nothing more to be said concerning his
general political attitude, and especially his attitude to
parliamentary reform. When we learn, however, that
to one of the chief leaders of his party Fox had written
on the vety eve of the crisis that in regard to parlia-
mentary reform, " I am more bound by former declara-
tions and consistency, than by any strong opinion I
entertain in its favour "—when we see Fox writing to
one of the firmest of all the enemies of parliamentary
reform, " I very much doubt whether the part which
you have taken on the question be not upon the whole
the most manly and judicious "—we realise that even a
story so apparently plain is going to require a radical
kind of reconstruction. For these reasons it has come
to be recognised that the study of a piece of diplomatic
history is bound to be unsatisfactory unless more
intimate documents can be discovered to give keys to the
interpretation of the formal diplomatic correspondence.
The editors of the German documents are anxious
to stress the point that the documents which
they publish are insufficient for the interpretation of the
more seamy side of German policy; but this argument